Signed into Law: Statutes of Limitation on Claims Involving Property Damage or Motor Vehicle Accident

Governor Walker signed AB 223 into law as 2015 Wisconsin Act 133 on February 4, 2016. Assembly Bill 223 introduced by Rep. Spiros (R-Marshfield) and Sen. Lasee (R-De Pere).

Under current law, the time limit for initiating a civil action on a contract or obligation, including an insurance policy, is generally six years after the cause of action accrues. In those cases in which the contract is a motor vehicle insurance policy, Act 133 changes the time limit to three yearsfrom the date that the cause of action accrues. For uninsured and underinsured motorist claims, this act specifically defines the date of accrual of the cause of action as the date that “there is final resolution of the underlying cause of action by the injured party against the tortfeasor.” 

In addition, Act 133 changes from six years to the three years the statute of limitations for claims for damage to real or personal property arising from a motor vehicle accident. The act retains the six-year statute of limitations for claims for damage to real or personal property not arising from a motor vehicle accident.

Finally, Act 133 changes from three years to two years the statute of limitations for actions to recover damages for death caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another arising from an accident involving a motor vehicle. The three-year statute of limitations is retained for such claims arising from circumstances not involving motor vehicle accidents.

The above changes apply prospectively, to accidents that occur on or after the legislation’s effective date, February 6, 2016[1].

See Wisconsin Legislative Council Act 133 memo for additional background on Act 133.


[1] Section 991.11, Wis. Stats: Effective date of acts. “Every act and every portion of an act enacted by the legislature over the governor’s partial veto which does not expressly prescribe the time when it takes effect shall take effect on the day after its date of publication.”

 

  • Happy birthday, America! The Hamilton Consulting Group wishes everyone a safe and happy Independence Day.